Tuesday, February 7, 2023

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Sri Lanka to ban travelling overseas under tourist visa for foreign jobs

Sri Lanka will be taking every possible action to prevent Sri Lankans from travelling overseas for work under tourist visas.

The Foreign Employment Ministry has taken this decision following the exodus of specially women to the Middle East under tourist visas for jobs in Gulf countries.

Minister Manusha Nanayakkara directed the ministry officials to take action to send women abroad for all jobs especially to the countries such as the UAE and Oman under work visa.

“The ministry has been notified by the Sri Lankan Bureau of Foreign Employment about women travelling on tourist visas with the hope of finding jobs in the UAE, and they become stranded without being able to find any jobs and instead become victims of various types of harassments, imprisonment and getting lost,” the minister said.

Therefore, the minister took this decision to prevent all such attempts to go abroad to work on tourist visas.

Also, the minister had instructed the officers at the SLBFE unit established in the airport to closely monitor the women who are travelling overseas seeking jobs in the above mentioned countries under Tourist visas.

If the SLBFE officials could confirm that the men and women applying for jobs through fake documents, legal action will be taken against such people through the bureau, the minister added.

The SLFEB advises all Sri Lankans about the importance of travelling abroad through legal channels, especially for those seeking foreign employment.

Over 200,000 Sri Lankans have left for overseas employment until the end of August this year, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) reported.

The SLBFE said that a total of 208,772 Sri Lankans have reported for foreign employment to date.

Among the group, nearly 2,858 Sri Lankans have gone to work in South Korea in 2022.5,000 Sri Lankans are expected to be directed to employment opportunities in South Korea by the end of this year, the SLBFE added.

The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment further said there was an increase in the demand from Sri Lankans for foreign employment opportunities

Between 2014 and 2022, Sri Lanka has received 1.6 million job opportunities from many developed countries and emerging markets for skilled and trained labour but has sent only 37,000 Sri Lankans for these jobs.

In Japan alone, there are vacancies for over 1.4 million Sri Lankans in the IT sector but none has been sent.

In countries like Japan, Korea and Israel, although there is scope for sending trained workers, it was revealed that the number of trained workers going abroad from Sri Lanka is decreasing due to the drop in the number of people with language proficiency and professional skills suitable for jobs in those countries

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